I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I feel like everything is in fast and slow motion at the same time. Parties, dinners, plays, events, gifts, shopping, eating, shopping, online shopping, browsing Nordstrom online… whoopsie poopsie I got off track there! Anywho… this time of year can get so crazy busy and overwhelming, so I decided Jon Boy and I needed to sneak off on a date night last Thursday. We tried an AWESOME new place, and I’ll share more about that further on down there.
I’ve been all about the tea lately. I found this little Organic Detox tea from the good ole H-E-B. It tastes pretty good (not as good as Aveda’s Tea), and it makes me feel a little healthier in the process. What are your favorite teas?
I’m doing a little War of the Moisturizing Creams to see if there’s much of a difference in my skin. I normally use that little Aveda cream on the right down there, but my skin hasn’t felt very moisturized lately. I loooooove the Fresh Lip Treatments, so I thought going for one of their night creams might be a good idea since they work so well with my lips. I have to admit, I had major sticker shock after I realized how much it costs ($90). I read the reviews though, and everyone seemed to be in love with the product. I gave it a go, and it’s made my skin much more moisturized than the Aveda. I’m going to keep trying it to see if it’s worth the $90, but so far, so good!
A friend of mine sent me a Facebook challenge about capturing photos of your every day life (no people) for a duration of seven days. This was my favorite of that little series. Taking those pictures was in a weird way a little bit of meditation on my day. Take little Goofy + Cookie Monster here: Corey snuggled with them on our bed while he watched a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode after waking up a bit cranky from his nap. I found them on the floor right before bed laying just like this. Cookie Monster’s face made me laugh, then I immediately thought about how I still needed to go clean up all the toys allllll over the house, then I remembered the sweet snuggles Mr. Corey had earlier that day. It was a great little exercise in being mindful of the little daily things.
Speaking of being mindful, this big chunk of handsome had his first ever school pictures! I think it’s safe to say that my Mama Heart melted into a puddle of absolute mush after I saw it. Those chubby hands holding that sweet little pumpkin plus that gap in that adorable smile… I can’t even.
I took myself on a little Foodie Date to Trader Joe’s the other day for some food retail therapy. It’s not too far from us, but I rarely have extra time to spend browsing all the goodness that’s within these hallowed walls. That time in there could be compared to a good church sermon for me. It’s so dang relaxing and fun to see all the unique things they’ve got!
I snagged this little gem for just $6! I’d spend that much on three itty bitty bunches of herbs from H-E-B. Hopefully I can keep this fella alive long enough to use him up!
Here’s my haul from Trader Joe’s that day – minus 6 packages of chicken sausage, frozen pancakes + waffles, and hatch green chiles. ALL OF THIS WAS $136! I know some folks might think of Trader Joe’s as a super expensive gourmet shop, but they’re really just a great store packed with delicious food made right that’s reasonably priced.
I ran out of my homemade chicken stock a couple of weeks ago, so it was time for another biggo pot of chicken-y goodness! I cannot say enough how EASY + CHEAP it is to make homemade chicken stock! I use Barefoot Contessa’s recipe and it comes out perfectly every time. She discards her cooked chicken, but I can’t afford to waste all that good meat. I let the chicken cool then pick apart the good meat and save it for things like Chicken Pot Pie, Stuffed Peppers, Tuscan Chicken Cakes, and Salsa Verde Tostada Casserole.
I get at least 6 quarts of extremely flavorful chicken stock. I let it cool, throw on the lid, label it, and chunk ’em in the freezer until I need them. I save the homemade stock for things like Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Pot Pie, Jambalaya, and anything else that’s more of a ‘special’ meal that calls for stock.
I also made some Mediterranean Turkey Burgers to freeze for another time. I feel like the next few weeks are going to get a little busy, so it’s nice to have meals that I can pull from the freezer, thaw, and have the next night for a fresh, home-cooked dinner. Ordering out all the time can get costly for my wallet and my thighs… know what I mean? I’ll share this recipe sometime soon, too! It’s easy peasy.
Our date night was so fun and spontaneous! I’ve been trying to do a better job of ‘outfit planning’ because most of the time I feel like I stress out trying to scramble to find something to wear just minutes before we need to leave. In my little ‘planning session’, I found this blouse from a couple of years ago and decided that was the ticket for this little date night! It’s lightweight, flowy, but still a little sexy. It was perfect for the food baby I gained after eating our yummy dinner at Ambriza’s.
I heard about Ambriza from a friend in pilates who said they were voted Best Margarita in Houston. I figured anyone who has that honor deserves an appearance from yours truly. They definitely lived up to their award! Y’all. Everything about their margaritas + their food is fresh and very authentic Mexican – not Tex-Mex.
Mexican Street Corn
Chicken Tinga Empanadas
And we had the Tampiqueña for dinner (we subbed a verde enchilada instead of the mole), and we devoured it. I forgot to snap a picture though (you can thank the margarita for that), so I’ll have to order it again just for the photo op.
You know it’s authentic Mexican when you see this little fella on the table. This stuff is sooo yummy on melon, too!
This was their award-winning margarita: Cucumber + Serrano. Our waitress gave us a little sample to try, and we sucked it down within minutes! It’s not spicy at all- the pepper just added a great flavor with the cucumber. Jon Boy said it tastes like a Watermelon Margarita to him. I don’t know what it tasted like to me, all I know is, I’ll be back for another soon!
Cheers to taking time to breathe during this busy season!